Nano-Science Center Seminar: Nikos Hatzakis – Københavns Universitet

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Nano-Science Center Seminar: Nikos Hatzakis

Title: Nano-enzymology - Hierarchical control of enzyme function across multiple scales of length and time

Enzymes accelerate almost all biochemical reactions. As such, enzymes are prime culprits in disease and prime candidates for advanced biotechnology and industrial application. A central tenet of molecular biology is that enzyme structure defines function.

Despite a century of intense study, the inner workings of enzymes - how Å scale atomic motions in ps time scales propagate through hierarchical coordinated milliseconds dynamic fluctuations anticipated to encode enzyme function – remain unknown. These fluctuations hold the key to a deeper understanding of how enzymes work. 

I will then discuss our first insights on how structural and functional investigations at the single molecule level can unveil the role of these dynamics.In this talk I will firstly present the vision that enzyme dynamics are evolutionary optimized to encode enzyme function: the capacity to accelerate chemical transformations while maintaining the functional plasticity of accepting structurally diverse substrates.

Finally I will discuss how employing a spectrum of mutants will uncover correlations between protein mutations to functional and clinical phenotypes with the ultimate target to the development of streamlined models for efficient redesign of tailor made biocatalysts and pharmaceutics.